Capitals

St. John's cruises by South Carolina 89-65

St. John's cruises by South Carolina 89-65

NEW YORK (AP) D'Angelo Harrison broke the 20-point mark for the sixth time in seven games this season, finishing with 26 and St. John's beat South Carolina 89-65 on Thursday night in the SEC-Big East Challenge.

The Red Storm (5-2) led 38-26 at halftime and pulled away over the final 10 minutes, leading by as many as 28 points in the final minutes.

Amir Garrett had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Red Storm while Phil Greene had 13 and JaKarr Sampson 11.

The Red Storm, who were coming off a season-high 55 percent from the field in the last game against Florida Gulf Coast, shot 56.9 percent (33 for 58) against the Gamecocks. Harrison was 8 of 13, including 3 of 6 from 3-poiunt range, while Garrett was 7 of 8 from the field

Michael Cabrera had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Gamecocks (5-2), who were playing their first true road game of the season.

South Carolina junior guard Brenton Williams was taken from the court on a stretcher after falling and injuring his neck when he was fouled on a drive to the basket with 13:34 to play and the Gamecocks trailing 51-41. Williams finished with 10 points.

Williams drove the lane and was fouled by Phil Greene. As he was falling St. John's 6-foot-9, 223-pound freshmen forward Chris Obekpa also fell and landed on Williams. The 175-pound Williams had his neck placed in a brace and he was slid onto a backboard and placed on the stretcher.

A school spokeswoman said Williams was taken to a hospital for evaluation and that he had movement in his extremities.

Bruce Ellington, a running back for the South Carolina football team, made his season debut against St. John's and had seven points on 3-for-10 shooting - missing all four 3-point attempts - in 29 minutes.

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Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals deal Philipp Grubauer and Brooks Orpik ahead of the draft

DALLAS—The Capitals have dealt backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer and veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik to Colorado for a second round pick, the team announced shortly before the NHL Draft kicked off Friday at American Airlines Center.

After the moves, the Caps had more than $21 million in space under the salary cap ceiling, according to www.capfriendly.com, and potentially enough room to accommodate new contracts for John Carlson and other key free agents.

GM Brian MacLellan was widely expected to deal Grubauer, a 26-year-old who wanted the opportunity to be a No. 1. As a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who was also coming off a strong season, Grubauer was due a significant raise.

“We would like to thank Brooks and Philipp for all of their contributions to our organization,” MacLellan said in a statement. “Philipp has been a consummate professional and a great teammate and we wish him all the best.”

Trading Orpik, on the other hand, was a bit unexpected, particularly considering how much the 37-year-old’s rugged play and leadership meant to the Caps during their run to the Stanley Cup.

By dealing Orpik, MacLellan shed his $5.5 million cap hit for next season—an important development given the Caps’ tight salary cap situation and the number of key players who need new contracts. Carlson, Michal Kempny and Jakub Jerabek are unrestricted free agents, while Tom Wilson, Devante Smith-Pelly, Travis Boyd and Madison Bowey are restricted free agents.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Avalanche are expected to help Orpik land a preferred spot, whether via trade or buyout. By taking on Orpik in the deal, Friedman reported, the Avs only had to give up one pick.

“Brooks,” MacLellan continued, “was a great leader and a tremendous role model for our young players in his four years with our organization. This was a difficult move, but the one we felt we needed to make in order to give some flexibility moving forward.”

Will moving out Grubauer and eliminating Orpik’s cap charge allow MacLellan to ink Carlson, who's set to become the top defenseman on the free agent market? That’s unclear, but it will sure help the Caps’ cause. Carlson is expected to command an extension in the eight-year, $8 million per neighborhood. 

Dealing Orpik also opens up a spot for a young and inexpensive defenseman such as Christian Djoos or Madison Bowey to take on a bigger role in 2018-19.

Without Grubauer, the Caps are likely to turn to Pheonix Copley, who is due to earn the NHL minimum of $650,000 next season, as their backup next season. And if Copley starts the year in Washington, that allows 2015 first round pick Ilya Samsonov to take the reins in Hershey.

The second round pick the Caps received in exchange for Grubauer and Orpik is the 47th overall selection.

MacLellan is expected to speak to reporters following the first round later Friday night. The Caps currently hold the 31st overall pick.

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Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

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USA Today Sports

Bryce Harper will compete in Home Run Derby, but only on one condition

It’s happening.

When the 2018 All-Star Weekend comes to Washington, D.C. in the middle of July, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will compete in the 2018 Home Run Derby, but only on one condition: He has to be a member of the 2018 National League All-Star Team.

Though Harper is having a down year, only hitting .213 thus far, he leads the NL in home runs with 19.

In the June 18 update of All-Star game voting, Harper sat second among all outfielders with just north of 1,000,000 votes.

That means he’s not only going to make the All-Star team, but he’ll likely start in the outfield.

Harper, a five-time All-Star, competed in the Home Run Derby once before. He was the runner-up to Yoenis Cespedes in 2013, losing by just one long ball, 9-8.

The 2018 Home Run Derby will take place on July 16 at Nationals Park.

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